7 February 2024 – While the EU Commission continues to shy away from sanctions against Russian aluminum and is looking for simple solutions, it is increasingly offending economic allies elsewhere. And will the demand to extend the EU Safeguard Measure to certain steel products come from Berlin in the next few days?
No new EU sanctions against Russian aluminum for the time being?
While the European Commission is engaging in completely unnecessary and totally exaggerated market protection investigations with strategic trading partners, as we are currently discussing in a Stainless Cappuccino on the topic of “Excessive EU market protection at the expense of supply security?“, according to media reports citing EU circles, there will be no new sanctions against Russian aluminum imports for the time being.
Is Brussels avoiding difficult decisions on aluminum?
If unwrought aluminum imports from Russia are actually left out of the upcoming sanctions package because Brussels prefers simple and quick solutions, this would once again show the double standards of the fine society there. It is better to alienate a few important allies and trading partners than to make morally correct but more difficult decisions.
German steel states call for EU Safeguard extension
Eleven German federal states with a steel production of more than 37 million tons per year have called on the German Federal Government, and in particular the Federal Ministry of Economics, to demand an extension of the EU Safeguard measures on certain steel products until mid-2026 in Brussels. The Steel Alliance, (Stahlallianz) which has existed in Germany since 2018, has been actively campaigning for the EU Safeguard Measure and its extension since the introduction of the US Section 232 tariffs. The Steel Alliance is supported by the German Steel Federation and the IG Metall trade union.
Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck, The Greens, welcomed the initiative of the Steel Alliance and emphasized that this would underline the unity between him and the federal states in key areas of action.
New EU Safeguard procedure only a matter of time?
It can therefore be expected that a corresponding request from the German government to extend the EU Safeguard Measure, which is due to expire in mid-2024, will be received in Brussels in the near future and that the EC will rush this through the administrative bodies.
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